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'We don't want to close': Pub landlord hits out at council for removing signs designed to boost trade

A landlord has slammed highways officials for removing chalkboard signs directing them to his country pub (SWNS).
A landlord has slammed highways officials for removing chalkboard signs directing them to his country pub. (SWNS)

A landlord who put up chalkboard signs directing potential customers to his country pub has criticised officials who removed them.

Tim Young wanted to advertise his venue's deals in order to drum up more business after profits were hit by the cost of living crisis.

He displayed two chalkboards in a hedgerow beside the A358 in Somerset, with one advising that the pub would be open Wednesdays to Sundays. The other advertised a Thursday fish and chip night.

But Young says he was shocked when a highways officer removed the signs and returned them to him at the Farmer's Arms in the village of Combe Florey, stating they were breaching highways laws.

Young put the signs out again on Thursday but another officer removed them again and this time did not return them.

Tim Young created signs to advertise his pub's deals in order to drum up more trade (SWNS).
Tim Young created signs to advertise his pub's deals in order to drum up more trade. (SWNS)

The 51-year-old landlord has hit out at Somerset County Council, claiming he had seen an influx in customers thanks to the boards and is "desperately" trying to bring in more trade.

He said: "Three pubs around us have closed. We are literally the last pub standing.

"We are desperately trying to keep afloat and keep going, but not aided by Somerset County Council Highways.

"We desperately don't want to close. Our electric has doubled and everything else has gone up, too – even your beef, pork and chicken for the Sunday roasts.

"Cooking oil has doubled in cost, beers and ales have gone up by several pounds a cask, and there's only so much you can pass on to the customer because they're suffering as well.

The landlord of the Farmers Arms pub has said he is 'desperately' trying to bring in more trade for the pub amidst the cost of living crisis (SWNS).
The landlord of the Farmers Arms pub has said he is 'desperately' trying to bring in more trade for the pub amid the cost of living crisis. (SWNS)

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He added: "The government are not showing any help towards rural country pubs.

"VAT is at 20% - it's killing us.

"People come in when they see our signs. This is a tourist area, people don't know there's a pub here, so when they see a sign for 'pub next left', people come in off the road.

"It's very annoying. The council needs to understand that businesses that employ people need help – they can't just take our signs and not give them back."

The Farmer's Arms pub in Combe Florey, Somerset, has suffered a drop in trade as a result of the UK's financial crisis (SWNS).
The Farmer's Arms pub in Combe Florey, Somerset, has suffered a drop in trade as a result of the UK's financial crisis. (SWNS)

A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said: "We have been in contact with the business owner to explain that the signs in question are not permitted under highway legislation which is why they were removed.

"We do understand however the importance of being able to advertise and we’ve had constructive discussions about where the signs can be legally and safely placed.

"The signs are available for collection and we will be arranging this with the owner."